Cleaning Outdoor Light Fixtures

by Emily McBride
(last updated February 15, 2010)

Sometimes it is easy to get so worried about cleaning the inside of the house that it is easy to forget to clean the outside as well. One chore that is often forgotten is cleaning light fixtures. Although often expensive, light fixtures can be a beautiful addition to your home and to your safety while you are outside in the dark. Keeping your outside light fixtures clean can both make the lights more beautiful and also make your lights shine brighter to improve the safety. Make your investment in your light fixtures worth it by keeping them clean.

The best way to keep your outdoor light fixtures clean is to clean them regularly. Anything that is exposed to the weather and dirt outside often gets dirty easily. If you don't clean your light fixtures regularly, chances are that they will have layers of grime built up. If you get in the habit of cleaning your light fixtures regularly, it will be easier to clean them each time because there will be less dirt and grime to wipe off. Here are a few steps to making this chore easier.

  • Unplug or turn it off: Don't forget to unplug or turn off your light fixtures first—you don't want to get electrocuted! Also, make sure that they have been off for long enough that they are no longer hot so that you don't burn your hands.
  • Gather equipment: If your light fixtures are up high, get a stable ladder to stand on. Also, depending on the type of light fixtures you have, you might need screwdrivers or other tools to undo some of the enclosures in order to thoroughly clean the fixtures. It's helpful to gather all of the tools at the beginning, especially if you are going to be up on a ladder.
  • Take it apart: Since most outdoor light fixtures are enclosed in a casing or housing, you'll need to take it apart in order to clean it thoroughly (which is where the screwdrivers and tools come in handy). Once you have taken it apart, wash the pieces with warm water and gentle soap (all the pieces except for the light bulb). If there are parts that you can't take apart, just use a warm, soapy rag to gently clean it.
  • The light bulb: If the light bulb is still shining bright, wipe it off with the wet cloth. If not, then replace it.
  • Put it back together: Once you are done cleaning all of the pieces, put it back together and enjoy the better and more beautiful light from your outdoor light fixtures!

Author Bio

Emily McBride

A senior majoring in English and editing at BYU, Emily hopes to enter the field of professional editing upon graduation. Emily has done humanitarian work in Africa and studied in London. She enjoys blogging, foreign films, and playing the piano. ...

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